A Avó veio trabalhar – Empower your Grandma


The project "A Avó veio trabalhar" (English: Grandma comes to work) is simply beautiful! We came across it on Instagram and loved the idea: Social integration of the elderly by learning from them. The project was initiated by the non-profit organization Fermenta. We talked with the makers Susana António and Ângelo Campota about the idea and mission of "A Avó veio trabalhar" and asked three grandmothers about their experiences and how they benefit from the project.

Enjoy the reading and support Portuguese grandmothers by learning from them in workshops in Lisboa or by buying their handcrafted products. Susana and Ângelo would be more then happy to take your orders via email.

What is the mission of "A Avó veio trabalhar"?

"A Avó veio trabalhar" is a project about learning, sharing and empowerment. The Portuguese tradition of handcrafts combined with design leads to a higher intervention of the elderly in society.

Why and how did you come up with the idea?

The idea came up with the desire of giving the elderly the opportunity to play a more active part in our society. We want them to know that they have the power to make a great contribution to society by using their wisdom, skills, beauty, energy and will and passion for life. The relationship with our grandparents was and is a big influence to our lives and how we develop as individuals as well as how we feel and notice the world around us. Our ambition is to bring together generations and let them experience the contact to each other by giving them the chance to get inspired by the elderly. We want the younger to appreciate and know what great treasure they are for all of us.

Who benefits from "A Avó veio trabalhar"?

"A Avó veio trabalhar" intends to favor the community of the Municipality of Misericórdia in Lisboa. In October 2014, we started working with a group of 12 grandmothers at the facilities of "Centro Social e Paroquial de São Paulo" (social center and parsonage) . After three months, the number of grandmothers climbed up to 30 due to the community of the initial 12 grandmothers. They invited friends, neighbors and family to join the project. It is with the opening of our shop / atelier at Rua do Poço dos Negros, 124 in Lisboa that the project really became alive and more cheerful grandmothers from everywhere in Lisboa, most of them freshly retired, joined us to enjoy their active side of life. At the moment, the family consists of more than 70 grandmothers. The youngest one is 57 years old and the oldest 90 years old.

How can a grandmother (Avó) work with you?

The participation is for free. Our grandmothers must be older than 55 years and live in Lisboa. Other than that, they just have to be willing to be a part of our big family.

Why should all Portuguese grandmothers come work with you?

The more grandmothers take part in our project, the more we'll be able to transform the mentality and vision of a society that respects the elderly. The initiative makes great demands on the rights of the elderly, connects with political and artistic movements and wants to cherish the potential of all grandmothers.


Fernanda Martins, 80 years old

Takes part in the project since the beginning.

What was your motivation to take part in "A avó veio trabalhar"?

It was by chance that I one day entered the "Centro Social e Paroquial de São Paulo". I was overwhelmed by all the work that was about to be done. Afterwords, I met Ângelo and Susana and I fell in love with the project.

What do you love most about the project?

The atmosphere at the "casa da Avó", the challenges and experiences they offer us and the family I've became part of.

Did the project change your life? And if so, in which way?

I've always been a very active person but by joining "A Avó veio trabalhar" my life became more complete. Today, I don't feel alone anymore. And in this house there's room for everything. My heart is full of love nowadays.


Fátima Ferreira, 57 years old

Takes part in the project since February 2016.

What was your motivation to take part in "A avó veio trabalhar"?

I thought that I might learn new things that I didn't know of and teach others about what I do know.

What do you love most about the project?

I love to see other people, many of them so much older than me, having so much energy and plans for their future.

Did the project change your life? And if so, in which way?

It did not really change my life but I like the routine of going to "work" twice a week and to have met people that I like and that now are part of my life.


Alice Oliveira, 64 years old

Takes part in the project since February 2016.

What was your motivation to take part in "A avó veio trabalhar"?

The possibility of dedicating time to myself and to learning. But also to teaching.

What do you love most about the project?

The new routine that influences my life, the people I met and that are part of my life now, all the challenges, experiences and the dedication of everyone.

Did the project change your life? And if so, in which way?

With the project I realized that my age doesn't matter and that I can be proud of who I am and of all I've accomplished so far.











Pictures by @A Avó veio trabalhar


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